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The African Union Mission to the United States of America held its first-ever African Union Pageant on Friday evening, with exotic traditional displays of attire and fabric from talented young African models in the Diaspora and the continent.
Lukwesa Morin the reigning Miss Zambia Diaspora, scoped the prestigious prize, to become the new queen who will represent the Africa Union as a Goodwill Ambassador throughout 2019, carrying the continental body’s key messages to various global audiences. She will also take part in activities to showcase the work of the organization. The first runner-up was Natasha Mupenzi from Uganda, with Rama Dioum from Guinea in third place.
The Pageant, held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. was a high profile gala evening attended by members of the diplomatic corps, government officials, movie and sports celebrities, Africans in the Diaspora and the media. Clad in African attire from different parts of the continent, revelers were given a spice of spectacular performances by the Ghetto Kids of Kampala, a troop of young Ugandans dancers; the Zulu Boys drummers of South Africa, Rwandan dancers and other performances.
The event was a showcase and celebration of African culture through fashion, music, dance, art and African Beauty. Seventeen young women young of African descent, living in the Diaspora competed for the prestigious title. The aim was to raise awareness about important African issues such as those in the AU’s development concept - Agenda 2063; the political history of Africa, and recent transformational developments. Contestant were quizzed on their knowledge of the Berlin Conference of 1884–85 where European powers met to divide Africa into present day borders; the pact of the continuation of colonization, and on transformation agenda such as the role of the African Union and the recently signed Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
African Union Permanent Representative to the United States Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quao said that invited guests and other audiences certainly benefited from what was on show at the Pageant, as it gave them an insight into the strength, intellect and beauty of African women.
“This event was not just about displaying elegant African women in beautiful clothes. It was also about telling the positive narrative about African people which is often not understood or misrepresented in the West as a continent of the poor, sick and dying. With the pageant, which will be an annual feature, we also aim to bridge the gap between Africans in the Diaspora and those in the continent,” she said.
Countries represented in the Pageant included Nigeria, Benin, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia, South Sudan, Cameroon, Uganda, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Guinea, Jamaica and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Chargé d'affaires at Zambia’s Embassy to the United States, Mr James Chisenga, whose country’s contestant won, said the event made many Africans proud because it portrayed a true picture of modern Africa. “We commend the African Union for putting up such a fabulous show. It is easy to lose touch with one’s African identity when living away from one’s country. The African food was also great,” said Mr Chisenga.
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Lukesa Morin, the reining Miss Zambia in the USA was last night crowned the new Miss African Union Diaspora 2018, at a colourful gala event in Washington DC.
Lukwesa beat a dozen other contestants in a pageant that was themed on African dress style and important historical and development aspects of Africa such as the ongoing negative effect of the Berlin Conference on Africa; the AUs Agenda 2063, and women empowerment issues.
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More than a dozen young women from African and the Diaspora will take part in the Miss AU Diaspora Pageant 2018 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington DC.
The event will showcase the best of Africa designs, music, dance and other traditions. The contestant will also be rated on their understanding of African issues as well as the role of the African Union.
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Washington DC, December 2, 2018: The African Union’s Permanent Representative to the United States of America, Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao says Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora are saddened by the death of former President Herbert Walker Bush.
Ambassador Chihombori-Quo said many will remember how president Bush senior presided over a new world order at a crucial time after the cold war and how his administration supported African countries in their transformation to democracy. She said Bush was instrumental in putting pressure on the Apartheid regime in South Africa, to end white minority rule at the beginning of the 1990s. Ambassador Chihombori-Quao described president H.W.Bush, as a good public servant and a humble leader. “We mourn with our American brothers and sisters but also celebrate a life well lived and accomplished, because his family and public life were exemplary life,” she said.
The forty-first president of the United States passed away on December 1, after a long illness. He is the father of George W. Bush who was also president of the US from 2001 to 2009. His funeral will be on Friday, December 5.